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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been keeping fish since October of 2011 when I impulse purchased a Betta and a 2.5 Gallon tank from a display at Petcomart :roll:
Through research and forums like this one I determined that while I had improved my Betta's life considerably with even this tiny, yet heated and filtered tank, I could do considerably more for both of us.
So in December of 2012 I upgraded to a 29 Gallon setup with live plants, I made it the best tank I could.
Here is the current state of my 29 Gallon:


It currently houses 4 Panda Corys and 8 Bronze Corys as unfortunately my Betta passed away 2 weeks ago, best consensus seems to be chronic kidney failure brought about by the case of Nitrite poisoning I gave him while I was still learning how to properly care for fish.

Which brings me to my next tank, a 10 Gallon QT tank and it's current inhabitant a Dwarf Gourami slated to fill the niche of King of the 29 Gallon in 2 weeks.
I am attempting to get him a girlfriend, but none of my LFS's carry female DGs. One seemed hopeful about ordering one so we'll see.


The QT tank was originally acquired in preparation for the 65 Gallon I ordered after Christmas, which has finally arrived and been set up.


With Hardscape


Plants in place, waiting for water to clear


All 3 tanks


The 65 Gallon has an Eheim Classic 350 canister filter and is running a duo T5 NO fixture with a 6700K plant bulb and a ColorMax bulb from Coralife. I really like the color of the light in the tank, but if I don't get the plant growth I want I can always upgrade to 2 of the 6700K bulbs.
Right now I've got
2 Amazon Swords
1 Ruby Red Melon Sword
2 Aponogeton Ulvaceous
1 Red Wenti Crypt
Several small patches of Green Wendti from some weird hanging package at Petcomart
A bunch of Ludwigia
A bunch of Rotala
A bunch of Spiralis Crypts
A Red Arrow Arum, which I suspect will prove to be non-aquatic and die, but we'll see.;-)
5 bunches of floating Watersprite.

I'm hoping to add some more crypts and swords and hopefully some Pygmy Chain Swords, but they're hard to find locally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
My water parameters are as follows:
Mg 8.33 mg/L
Ca 29.7 mg/L
Na 8.52 mg/L
S04 31.2 mg/L
Cl 9.50 mg/L
Total Hardness: 104 mg/L
Total Alkalinity: 76 mg/L
Carbonate Alkalinity: 0 mg/L
Bicarbonate Alkalinity: 76 mg/L
Non-Carbonate Hardness: 28 mg/L
pH in pH units: 7.76


Stocking is proving slightly problematic, mostly due to the sheer number of species I'd like to have:lol:
I was originally debating between a pair of Kribensis, a pair of Apistogramma, or a pair of Bolivian Rams as the "main" fish. I've pretty much settled on the Bolivians due to hardiness, general low levels of agression, and availability, so now I just have to settle on everything else.:roll:
Ideally I'd like to have:
The Rams
11 or so Harlequin Rasbora
11 or so Flame Tetra
5 Hoplo Catfish
8 or so Brochis Splendens
However, this seems kind of bottom heavy to me and the Hoplos may be too large and boisterous for the Ram's peace of mind. Also, the Rasbora don't really fit in with the other fish too much as far as where they originate.
As some alternates I was thinking
Brilliant Rummynose Tetra
Glo Light Tetra
Zebra Loaches
Still nothing for the top of the tank though.
 

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Those tanks are awesome. After having tanks as a teenager, I finally went out and got myself a fifty-five gallon tank. What I want to know is where you procured the wood in the tanks. I wanted to look into getting some to fill out my tank and provide some more areas for the fish to creep and hide.

Once again, the tanks are really cool.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The vertical piece of driftwood in the 29 Gallon and the large piece in the 65 Gallon were at one time a single piece:


They both took pieces of slate screwed onto their bottoms to keep them in the tanks.
The piece in the 65 Gallon was soaked for almost 2 months and still needed the slate.

The smaller twisty piece in the 65 gallon is from one of my LFS's and it was waterlogged in a week.


I also have several chunks of "Malaysian" driftwood in the 29 Gallon that sank when I first put them in to soak, they're very heavy for their size.

The big piece came from an online dealer called The Driftwood Store, but the link I used doesn't seem to work any longer.
Knowing what I know now, I'd probably just go for the Malaysian driftwood as it seems to be the least problematic.
 

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Great tanks, Ogre! The 29 looks so lush, and I can't wait to see what you do with the 65! Pretty, pretty gourami you've got in the 10g, good luck with finding a female, and keeping the pair happy together. . . :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Ches.
I'm hoping that the 29's got enough going on that the Gouramis can get away from one another if they need to.

I was doing some more browsing in the Profiles and discovered the Pretty Tetra, I'm thinking that I may need some of these for the top level of the big tank.
I have tomorrow off so I'm thinking that I may be picking up the Harlequin Rasbora tomorrow and getting the stocking started.

Stocking help, suggestions, or observations would be appreciated;-)
 

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Sounds like you've got things pretty well figured out. . . the only thing I would suggest is to stick with one larger shoal of the smaller fish - so instead of getting both Rasa and Flame tetra, choose which one you'd like most, and double the shoal size. But that's just my personal preference based on having a shoal of 20 of one type - 's very cool to watch.

Can you FIND Pretty Tetra? I've never seen them locally, that'll be a neat fish to have. I've never looked into the larger Tetra, except for the Diamonds, but decided to stick to the bitty ones :) Funny that they can grow to be almost as big as your rams!

Good luck with the first phase of stocking! You're gonna be having some fun times in the months ahead!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One big shoal is appealing, however, there are just soooooo many kinds of fish that a couple of smaller shoals may prove too tempting.
Also, a mixed community may prove interesting as the different fishes will behave in different ways bringing variety to the tank.

All 3 of the LFS's I frequent say that they can order fish, so the Pretty Tetra may be available, but they'd probably be last in before the rams so I have time to investigate.
 

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I hear ya, lol! There are too many to choose from - I have that problem, too! Whatever you end up with, I'm sure it'll be great. . . I wish I had a good LFS nearby that could order things for me. I miss that. . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So, as threatened I went to the LFS today and picked up the first denizens of the 65 Gallon, 11 Harlequin Rasbora


You only get the one photo as the camera/light combo seemed to be stressing them out a bit, but I just couldn't resist sharing.
When I released them into the tank they made a beeline for the plants, but then couldn't resist checking out the tank, they seemed amazed at having an entire 48" to get up to speed:)
They've been playing in the output of the filter and whizzing the full length of the tank for a while now, the cat was most entertained.
They already seem to have more color than they did in the store, they were quite pale in their baggy, so I'm hoping that they're happy.

I'm thinking I may well follow Chesherca's advice and pick up 10 more and let these little guy be the sole shoal in the tank, they're behavior is quite hypnotic with only 11, I can only imagine how 21 would look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So I bumped the Harlequin shoal up to 13.
When I bought my 11 yesterday there were only 2 left in the display at the LFS, and when I went back today to pick up some filter tubing they were still there...
When they were floating in their baggy, the original 11 came over to investigate and ended up hanging out with them through the entire acclimation period, only leaving when I came over to add tank water to the bag.
The newcomers immediately joined the party when I let them loose but then everyone had to check out the entire tank again, it was like I hit their Reset Button:lol:

On an aside, my Gourami is a glutton:-D
He begs for food more than any animal I've ever had.
 

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Haha, sounds great! They were like "HEY! It's JOE AND SALLY!!! Where ya BEEN, guys? You GOTTA get outta that bag and check this pad OUT!!!" ;) I'm glad you picked up the remaining two - I always feel bad when I see a lonely couple of shoalers in the tanks at the shop. You just know they're all like *blink blink* Where'd everyone go!?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So, the tanks been up and running for 2 weeks now.
The filter was unkind to the Ulvacea I put in on the left side, and the Rotala over there wasn't doing very well either so I did a little rearranging and added a few more plants.
I added in another Echinodorus Bleheri, an Ozelot Sword, a couple of Argentinian Swords (One of my favorite swords) and some Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis.
Also having some Crypt-melt, so we'll see how that goes.




One of my original Amazon Swords is becoming quite the adventitious plant factory with leaves sprouting at several of the nodes on it's inflorescence:


It looks like the Ulvaceous that was doing better is going to flower, it's grown two of these:


The Harlequin Rasbora are doing nicely, but with only 13 of them the tank seems pretty empty.
I think I may keep the Gourami in the quarantine for 1 more week, but he's had 3 already and I'd like to get on with more fish for the big tank :-D
I know that I was leaning toward one big shoal of the Harlequins, but there are just so many types of fish I'd like to have it's hard to keep that resolution.
I am thinking about either Diamond Tetra or Head and Tail Light Tetra as a second mid-water shoal to add a little variety to the bulk of the tank.
I would go with 7 of the Diamonds or 11 of the Head and Tail Lights.
 

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Those plants are looking happy! Glad things are going so well. . . I'm sure the Crypts will rebound, they almost always do :)
 
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